Exhibit 99.1
         
 
      Airgas, Inc.
 
      259 N. Radnor-Chester Road
 
      Suite 100
 
      Radnor, PA 19087-5283
(AIRGAS LOGO)
 
News Release
  www.airgas.com
Investor and Media Contact:
Jay Worley (610) 902-6206
jay.worley@airgas.com
For release:      Immediately
Airgas Reports Record First Quarter EPS of $0.81
RADNOR, PA – July 23, 2008 —
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, welding, safety, and related products, today reported strong growth in sales, operating income, and record earnings for its first quarter ended June 30, 2008.
Quarterly net earnings grew 33% to $68.9 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, compared to $51.7 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, in the prior year. First quarter sales increased 22% from the prior year to $1.1 billion. Acquisitions contributed 15% to the increase, and total same-store sales grew 7% in the quarter, with hardgoods up 6% and gas and rent up 7%.
“Our strategic product categories, which are focused on healthcare, life sciences, research, environmental, and food and beverage markets, comprising about 40% of our sales, posted 10% organic growth in the quarter,” said Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland. “The strong outlook for energy and infrastructure construction continues, and export activity is still supporting U.S. manufacturers in the face of slowing domestic demand. Acquisition activity is also contributing to our growth, and we have announced more than $130 million of acquired annual revenue since our fiscal year began in April.”
Free cash flow* in the quarter was $58 million, compared to $28 million in the prior year. McCausland said, “We continue to generate strong free cash flow, which fuels our strategic growth initiatives.”
“Costs escalated in the quarter faster than we planned, but we remain committed to staying ahead of the cost curve and our recently announced pricing action should accomplish that,” McCausland continued. “We expect earnings per diluted share of $0.82 to $0.84 in the second quarter, and are updating our full- year expectations to $3.30 to $3.40 per diluted share in fiscal 2009.” The previously announced range was $3.24 to $3.40.

 


The following information was filed by Airgas Nor Pac Inc on Thursday, July 24, 2008 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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